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Cross-Platform Blockchain Project Cosmos Launches First Hub After $17 Million ICO

Blockchain platform Cosmos, which is set to work as a mediator between different blockchains, has officially launched the first hub of its ecosystem on Wednesday, Mar. 13. The Cosmos initial coin offering (ICO), held in April 2017, raised a little more than $17 million.

The Cosmos Network, which describes itself as “The Internet of Blockchains,” was developed by California-based startup Tendermint Inc — a software development company that was appointed by Swiss non-profit Interchain Foundation to develop the cross-blockchain ecosystem.

The mainnet launch, which was announced on Cosmos Twitter, was also streamed live on Youtube, mimicking the launch of a rocket with Christine C., the community architect at Tendermint, dressed as an astronaut. The first block was mined at 11 p.m. UTC (7 p.m. EST) on March 13.

According to the Cosmos Network website, the company developed the scalable ecosystem, which allows different decentralized applications to interoperate on a single platform, for three years. The developers believe that Cosmos may contribute to solving some of the main problems in blockchain, such as scalability and interoperability.

The recent launch is reportedly the first in a series of proof-of-stake chains developed by Tendermint. As per a recent blog post, Cosmos Hub will further pass two more phases.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, a group of developers at crypto startup TenX in late 2018 successfully tested the use of its cross-blockchain interoperability protocol to transfer ERC20 tokens for Bitcoin (BTC) using the Lightning Network.

More recently, a report to the European Union made recommendations on how to better develop blockchain technology, including the introduction of interoperability and scalability standards. The paper, dubbed “Scalability, Interoperability And Sustainability of Blockchains,” was prepared by blockchain tech firm ConsenSys.

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Binance Now Lets Australians Buy Bitcoin With Cash at Over 1,300 Stores

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Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has unveiled a new platform in Australia that allows users to buy bitcoin with cash from high-street stores.

Announcing the news on Tuesday, Binance said the new gateway, called Binance Lite Australia, is cash-to-bitcoin brokerage service accessible through a network of 1,300-plus supported newsagents across the country.

The platform currently offers the option to buy only bitcoin using Australian dollars (AUD), but the exchange said it plans to support more cryptocurrencies and fiat options in the future.

Once users have carried out an account verification processes, they can place an order to buy bitcoin online, deposit cash at the nearest newsagent and receive crypto “within minutes,” according to the announcement.

Binance Lite Australia charges a 5 percent transaction fee plus goods and services tax (GST) on all bitcoin purchases.

Binance CFO Wei Zhou said that the new platform further expands…

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$25 Million in 2 Weeks: BlockFi Booms as Bitcoin, Ether Investors Seek Interest

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The Takeaway

  • BlockFi’s interest-yielding deposit accounts, launched in beta in January and fully live this month, have attracted more than $35 million in crypto. Most of it is being lent to institutional borrowers.
  • BlockFi’s terms of service give the company significant leeway over how it uses depositors’ funds and what interest rate it can pay them. This flexibility is needed for the company to grow fast, CEO Zac Prince says.
  • Institutional investors borrow crypto at individualized terms, at interest rates from 4 to 12 percent, and BlockFi can call in the loans at any time.
  • When crypto prices move dramatically, BlockFi manages risks by making borrowers put up more collateral or selling some of it.
  • BlockFi is planning to roll out new products every six months and raise more capital.

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BlockFi wasn’t the first lending startup in the cryptocurrency market, but it’s likely the one getting the most attention these days — including some heat from community…

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Winklevoss Capital Partner Sterling Witzke: Dollar Is Not Designed for the Internet, but Stablecoins Are

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Sterling Witzke has been working at Winklevoss Capital — a venture capital firm set up by the famous Winklevoss twins — for five years now. As a professional investor, she is very interested in financing early stage crypto and blockchain projects. She believes that stablecoins are perfectly designed for the needs of internet payments and will steadily gain popularity as the industry evolves.

We talked to Sterling Witzke about the future of fiat-pegged cryptocurrencies, the necessity of proper legal frameworks and the future of the maturing crypto industry.

Clarity is always good for an ecosystem

Ana Berman: How do you think, what will 2019 bring in terms of regulation? The question is related to the ads that Gemini recently launched, which said, in particular, “Crypto needs rules.” Don’t you think it undermines the whole idea of decentralization?

Sterling Witzke: The short answer is no….

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